What is Ultrasound:
- Thermal Effect: absorption of ultrasonic energy takes place at the molecular level. These thermal effects are most noted in nervous tissue, ligaments, cell membranes, joint capsules, tendons, muscles and blood.
- Mechanical Effects:
- Protoplasmic Streaming: Ultrasound will change the electrical activity of excitable tissues and changes in cell membrane permeability of sodium may explain the altered electrical activity in both muscle and nerve. This phenomena may also be responsible for the decrease in muscle spasm and/or pain by way of nerve blockage through the altered excitability of the tissues after ultrasonic treatment. It has also been noted that because of increased cell membrane permeability, ultrasound promotes healing of injured or damaged tissues.
- Cavitation: characterized by the vibratory activity of compressed bodies such as gas filled bubbles or cavities. It is seen that within the ultrasonic field there is a formation of bubbles from available gasses in the tissues. As these bubbles or gas cavitations are formed they become larger and begin to expand and contract under the ultrasonic field creating a vibratory motion. This motion has sometime been referred to as a micro massaging action and may be responsible for a change of chemical activity within the tissues.
Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound:
- Promotion of tissue healing through tissue regeneration and repair
- Repair of osseous tissue
- Reduction of edema and inflammation
- Decrease in pain and muscle spasm
- Increased extensibility of collagen enriched tissue.
• Provides pain relief
• Resolves inflammation
• Increases the speed and quality of tissue repair
• Stimulates the immune system
• Improves the function of damaged neurological tissues